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The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a NASA-sponsored program that puts the disparate data collected by NASA space missions and stored on a heterogenous collection of platforms at research centers and university facilities across the nation in the hands of the scientific community in an efficient and effective manner.
The ADS is built on a client/server distributed processing model. The ADS client software consists of a core system and a set of user selectable add-on services. The core system includes the underlying Ellery Open Systems (EOS) software, the main ADS graphical user interface panel, system settings, service monitoring tools, and underlying C-like run-time interpreted language support for the dynamic addition and update of optional ADS add-on services. Each add-on service of the ADS comes as a complete package that includes access to a remote or local server, the client GUI, and documentation. Remote servers include access to archives at IPAC, SAO Einstein, NDADS; abstracts and bibliographic information from the RECON database at SAO, NED, and SIMBAD. Local servers include visualization tools such as SAOimage, IPAC's Skyview image display, IDL X-Y plotting, and many more. The advantage of this architecture is the flexibility of service additions or upgrades. It is no longer necessary to install or reinstall the entire ADS each time a new service becomes available. This also allows users to tailor their personal installations to include only those services of most interest to them. This architecture greatly enhances the ADS projects ability to maintain and support an ever growing number of new services and users.
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